First and foremost, my hats off to all the folks who toed the line to start TI V5 and a big thanks to Guitar Ted, David Pals, Ken Yokanovich, Cale Wenthur, and the rest of the volunteers who made the event possible. Also a huge thanks to Oly for volunteering to be the Nebraska support crew. Couldn't have done it without ya.
Mad props and congrats to Lincoln crew members Matt Wills and Matt Gersib for pushing through the night to finish! Second finish for Matt Wills (TI V3 finisher) and this is the first for Matt Gersib. Well done fellas! We're all super stoked and very proud. Pushing through the night takes a lot of guts.
While the Matt's were pushing on through the night for the finish, the rest of the Nebraska contingent was snoozing at the Best Western in Williamsburg after pulling the plug for various orthopedic reasons. Ultra endurance events such as Trans Iowa can aggravate pre-existing injuries or cause orthopedic problems to resurface again. That was the case for Skip, Bonsall, Eric and myself. Skip got shut down by an Achilles tendon issue, Bonsall had his IT band cut his event short, Eric had back problems for most of the day that shut him down, and I had my right knee flare up and cheat me of the last 96 glorious miles. It seems we were all feeling fine and had the energy to push on to the finish, but our bodies weren't cooperating. It's a very hard decision to make at the time, but in hindsight we made the right call. Going out for a century with a bad Achilles, IT band, knee or back is just plain stupid. Factor in the already ridden double century plus change and the darkness, then the decision becomes much easier to understand.
I can't say enough about the folks who raced and helped out with the event. Lots of smiles and encouragement from volunteers and competitors alike. And that's what the event is all about.
During the event on several occasions, I decided that this was going to be my last TI. Less than 24 hours after the event, I've changed my mind. I'll give it a go again next year.